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Texas State Rep. Lujan visits JBSA-Randolph, learns about mission

Dred Madison, 12th Flying Training Wing terminal instrument procedures chief, Lt. Col. Emil Bliss, 12th FTW community innitiatives chief, and Col. Michael Snell, 12th FTW commander, meet with Rep. John Lujan, Texas House of Representatives member, in the Wing Conference Room at bldg. 100 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph during an orientation tour, May 31, 2016. Lujan learned about compatible development, bird air strike hazards, and visited the air traffic control tower and flight simulator facility among. (U.S. Air Force photo by Randy Martin/Realsed)

Dred Madison, 12th Flying Training Wing terminal instrument procedures chief, Lt. Col. Emil Bliss, 12th FTW community innitiatives chief, and Col. Michael Snell, 12th FTW commander, meet with Rep. John Lujan, Texas House of Representatives member, in the Wing Conference Room at bldg. 100 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph during an orientation tour, May 31, 2016. Lujan learned about compatible development, bird air strike hazards, and visited the air traffic control tower and flight simulator facility among. (U.S. Air Force photo by Randy Martin/Realsed)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH --

Texas State Representative John Lujan visited Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph May 31 to tour the 12th Flying Training Wing and learn about its mission.

The 12th FTW hosted Lujan during an afternoon visit which included a mission brief, tour of an air traffic control tower, T-6 and T-38 simulators, a T-38 static display and a flying squadron tour.

Lujan was greeted for the tour by Col. Michael Snell, 12th FTW vice commander, and Lt. Col. Emil Bliss, 12th FTW Community Initiatives director.

The tour started with a mission brief in building 100, 12th FTW headquarters. During the brief, 12th FTW leadership spoke to Lujan about how the 12th FTW orchestrates training for different airframes in units at three different geographic locations. 

“The 12th Flying Training Wing is unique in that it trains different types of Air Force aviators at various stages in their military careers. The 12th FTW could train an Air Force Academy cadet in basic gliding or parachuting prior to graduation and then train that same individual as a Combat Systems Officer or Remotely Piloted Aircraft pilot after graduation," Snell said. Later in their careers we may train them to be instructor pilots, readying them to teach at our pilot training locations.  We are very proud to train Airmen in the fundamentals of airmanship, instruction, and leadership in several locations across the country and at every point in a career, from cadets to wing commanders.”

At the East air traffic control tower, Lt. Col. Robin Baldwin, 12th Operations Support Squadron commander, explained the complexity of air traffic control at JBSA-Randolph. Bliss then showed Lujan how terrain around the runways has developed in recent years, stating that increased development near JBSA-Randolph may come with obstacles to flying mission success.

The visit also included a trip to the 12th Operations Support Squadron simulators, where 12 OSS personnel showed Lujan what pilots see when they fly at JBSA-Randolph. The simulators are used for flight training in both routine and emergency situations, including bird strikes. 

The last tour stop allowed Lujan to see the 12th FTW mission up close with a T-38 static display and a tour of the 435th Fighter Training Squadron. T-38s are used to train fighter pilot candidates and instructor pilots at JBSA-Randolph.

“I am so proud to represent and work with JBSA-Randolph in House District 118. I was overwhelmed by the importance of their mission for our country. The Texas Legislature must do whatever we can to support JBSA-Randolph in their mission,” Lujan said.